2021 NBA Finals
Inside the Box Score: 2021 NBA Finals, Game 5
Dig into the numbers behind Milwaukee's epic 123-119 victory over Phoenix to take a commanding 3-2 lead in The Finals.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
The Bucks fell behind by 16 points early in Game 5, but rallied to take a 14-point lead of their own and eventually held off Phoenix for a 123-119 win and a 3-2 series lead in the 2021 NBA Finals. Let’s dig into all facets of the box score to take a closer look at Milwaukee’s win.
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• Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday combined for 88 points to put the Bucks one win away from the championship. The 88 combined points represented the highest total for the trio in the postseason and the third-highest as teammates all season (89 points twice – at Portland on April 2; vs. Brooklyn on May 2).
Bucks’ Big 3 — Highest scoring games as teammates
|DATE||MATCH UP||W/L||TOTAL PTS||ANTETOKOUNMPO||MIDDLETON||HOLIDAY|
|May 02, 2021||MIL vs. BKN||W||89||49||22||18|
|Apr 02, 2021||MIL @ POR||W||89||47||20||22|
|Jul 17, 2021||MIL @ PHX||W||88||32||29||27|
|Dec 23, 2020||MIL @ BOS||L||87||35||27||25|
|May 04, 2021||MIL vs. BKN||W||85||36||26||23|
• The Suns matched their longest losing streak of the season (Jan. 22-27). In both streaks they allowed 117.3 points per game.
• Devin Booker posted his second straight 40+ point game, but the Suns have no wins to show for his efforts. According to Elias, Booker is the first player to lose back-to-back Finals game when scoring at least 40 points; it has only happened five times Playoff history. In the past two games, he’s averaged 41 points on 34-65 FG, 2-7 3P, 12-14 FT.
• The Suns are the first team in NBA history to lose a playoff game while shooting at least 50% from the field and 60% from 3-point range (min. five 3-point attempts). Prior to Saturday, teams had gone 35-0 when posting those shooting percentages in the playoffs. No team in Playoff history had ever shot at least 55% from the field, 68% from 3-point range and 90% from the free throw line.
• Jrue Holiday posted a game-high plus-14 in his 44 minutes on court, followed by Devin Booker at plus-12, then Brook Lopez and Pat Connaughton at plus-10 each. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a minus-7 for the game as much of the Bucks run to erase Phoenix’s first-quarter lead came with Giannis on the bench.
• After committing just five turnovers on all of Game 4, the Bucks had six in the opening quarter of Game 5 as the Suns built their 16-point lead. Milwaukee had only five turnovers over the final three quarters.
• The trend of the team winning the second quarter going on to win the game continue as the Bucks outscored the Suns 43-24 in the second quarter and held on to win by four points. Through five games, the Suns are +23 in the first quarter, but the Bucks have won each of the following three quarters: plus-22 in the second, plus-1 in the third and plus-7 in the fourth.
• Only three players across both teams shot below 50% for the game: Jeff Teague (0-1, 0%), Cameron Payne (3-7, 42.9%) and Torrey Craig (1-4, 25%). Every other player that took the court made at least half of their shot attempts, with seven players shooting better than 60%.
• Dating back to March 26, the Suns had won 12 straight games (10 in the regular season, two in the playoffs) decided by five points or less before Saturday’s Game 5 loss to Milwaukee. The Suns had also been 12-0 in the playoff when leading by more than 10 points at any point in a game. That streak was also snapped in Game 5 as they surrendered a 16-point lead.
• Since the 1996-97 season, there have been 17 instances in which a team has posted an effective field goal percentage greater than 60% in a Finals game. Game 5 was the first time both teams did so in the same game: Milwaukee (65.5%) and Phoenix (62.6%). The Suns are the only team in that group to lose when posting a 60+ eFG%.
Effective FG% 60+ in NBA Finals Game, Since 1996-97
|TEAM||MATCH UP||GAME DATE||W/L||EFG%|
|PHX||PHX vs. MIL||7/17/21||L||62.6|
|MIL||MIL @ PHX||7/17/21||W||65.5|
|PHX||PHX vs. MIL||7/8/21||W||60.2|
|TOR||TOR @ GSW||6/5/19||W||62.8|
|GSW||GSW vs. CLE||6/3/18||W||66.5|
|CLE||CLE vs. GSW||6/9/17||W||66.7|
|GSW||GSW vs. CLE||6/4/17||W||61.8|
|GSW||GSW vs. CLE||6/5/16||W||63.6|
|SAS||SAS @ MIA||6/12/14||W||63.6|
|SAS||SAS @ MIA||6/10/14||W||66.4|
|SAS||SAS vs. MIA||6/5/14||W||68.4|
|SAS||SAS vs. MIA||6/16/13||W||66.4|
|MIA||MIA vs. OKC||6/21/12||W||61.0|
|DAL||DAL vs. MIA||6/9/11||W||65.9|
|ORL||ORL vs. LAL||6/9/09||W||66.4|
|LAL||LAL @ NJN||6/9/02||W||60.3|
|IND||IND vs. LAL||6/16/00||W||64.7|
• The Suns outscored the Bucks in the paint for the first time in the series (52-46). Giannis Antetokounmpo led all players with 24 points in the paint, followed by Devin Booker (20), Deandre Ayton (12) and Jrue Holiday (10). Giannis has scored at least 20 points in the paint in each of the past four games.
• The Bucks outscored Suns on fast breaks for the fourth consecutive game as they posted a series-high 21 fast break points in Game 5 – none bigger than the Jrue Holiday to Giannis Antetokounmpo alley-oop with 13.5 seconds left. Those were Giannis’ only fast break points of the game.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 75% of his points in the paint (24 points), 12.5% from mid-range (4 points) and 12.5% from the free throw line (4 points). Giannis’ percentage of field goal attempts from 3-point range have been at their lowest in Milwaukee’s three wins (8.7% in Game 3, 10.5% in Game 4, and 4.3% in Game 5); they were at 18.2% and 22.7% in Milwaukee’s two losses.
• Devin Booker scored half of his points in the paint (20 points), a quarter from mid-range (10 points), 15% from 3-point range (6 points) and 10% from the free throw line (4 points).
• For the second straight game, the Bucks assisted on 85.7% of their 3-pointers made. Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo each had three assists on corner 3s as the Bucks shot 6-9 from the corners in Game 5.
• Devin Booker led all players in usage rate at 44.1%, which was 23 percentage points higher than any other Suns starter (Chris Paul was second at 21.1%). Conversely, the Bucks’s usage was more balanced among the big three with Giannis Antetokounmpo leadings the way at 31%, followed by Khris Middleton (28.5%) and Jrue Holiday (23.8%).
• Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis each accounted for 40% of Milwaukee’s 3-pointers made while they were on the court, while both were under 30% in percentage of attempts.
• Jrue Holiday accounted for 24.3% of Milwaukee’s points and 59.1% of Milwaukee’s assists while he was on the court. Chris Paul accounted for more than 2/3 of Phoenix’s assists (68.8%) in his 35 minutes on the court.
• Both teams posted their highest effective field goal percentages of the series in Game 5.
• Milwaukee’s turnover percentages was over 10% for the first time since Game 1 as they had done a great job at limiting their turnovers between Games 2-4.
• The Suns posted their lowest free throw rate of the series (0.126), while the Bucks’ 0.195 was their second-lowest of the series.
• The Bucks have held the edge in offensive rebounding percentage in each game of the series. However, the Suns won second-chance points for only the second time in the series (plus-2 in Game 5, plus-4 in Game 1).
• Devin Booker scored 40 points in Game 5 on only 62 touches, with only 34 of those coming in the front court. Booker’s 0.645 points per touch led all players, with Pat Connaughton second at 0.500.
• Milwaukee held the edge in shooting contested shots in Game 5 as the Bucks finished 21-37 (56.8%) compared to 16-36 (44.4%) for the Suns. Phoenix had the edge in uncontested shots – the Suns shot 32-51 (62.7%) while the Bucks shot 29-50 (58.0%) – but not by the same margin as the Bucks on contested shots.
• Devin Booker posted game-highs in uncontested shots made (13) and attempted (21) in Game 5. Khris Middleton (9-15) and Jrue Holiday (9-11) led the way for the Bucks.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo shot just 3-9 on uncontested shots, but was 11-14 (78.6%) on contested shots.
• The Bucks finished with 12 screen assists that produced 26 points; five of those screen assists came from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Deandre Ayton led all players with eight screen assists that led to 19 Suns points.
• Both teams finished with 12 deflections in Game 5, but no player had more than Jrue Holiday with five. Holiday also led all players with three steals.
• In addition to his 27 points and game-high 13 assists, Jrue Holiday also held his defensive matchups to 7-17 (41.2%) shooting in Game 5. Only Mikal Bridges (3-10) and Cameron Payne (0-3) allowed a lower percentage.
• Pat Connaughton allowed a team-high 25 points in his 10:31 of defensive matchup time in Game 5. His matchups shot 10-16 from the field, including 5-5 from 3-point range.
• Devin Booker scored against all eight Bucks that defended him in Game 5. He did most of his damage against P.J. Tucker, scoring 12 points on 4-6 FG and 4-5 FT in 4:20 of matchup time. He had seven points on 3-7 FG and no free throw attempts in 3:14 against Jrue Holiday. For the series, Holiday has held Booker to 36.0% (9-25) shooting from the field and 22.2% (2-9) from 3-point range.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 of his team-high 32 points in 11:05 of matchup time with Deandre Ayton. No other Suns player defended Giannis for a minute in Game 5. However, Giannis did have six points on 3-4 FG in just 33 seconds of matchup time with Chris Paul.
• Khris Middleton scored only seven points on 3-8 FG, 1-3 3P in 5:44 of matchup time against Mikal Bridges, and had just one points on 0-3 FG in 3:41 against Devin Booker. Middleton did the bulk of his scoring when matched up with Jae Crowder (11 points on 4-5 FG, 2-3 3P, 1-1 FT in 1:25 matchup time), Chris Paul (6 points on 3-3 FG in 1:15) and Deandre Ayton (4 points on 2-3 FG in 1:07).
• Jrue Holiday defended Chris Paul for a team-high 4:44 (41.0% of Paul’s offensive matchup time) and held him to five points on just three shot attempts and three assists.